Welcome to the official event schedule and directory for the 10th Annual Salt Lake County Watershed Symposium.  Congratulations to Carl Adams of DWQ. He was nominated by peers, and celebrated with peers, as the 2016 Watershed Steward of the Year!

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Wednesday, November 16 • 2:00pm - 2:25pm
Identifying Contributing Factors to Utah Lake Algal Blooms

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Identifying Contributing Factors to Utah Lake Algal Blooms
This past summer saw one of the largest toxic algae blooms in the region’s recent history spread from Utah Lake and along the entire stretch of the Jordan River. The large amount of biomass and presence of toxins affected local recreation, and several communities who were forced to shut off their secondary water supply which comes from the Jordan River. The magnitude and extent of the bloom led to widespread concern and raised a number of questions including: What caused the bloom? Were there any warning signs? Which areas were affected the most? What were conditions like throughout the water system?
In order to address these questions and better understand what happened with this and other blooms in the region, we calibrate several lake-specific models using historical data for chlorophyll-a (an indicator of algal biomass) and satellite-measured reflected radiance from the surface of the lake, and apply the models to the Utah Lake and Great Salt Lake region. We then identify regions of the system which have been historically particularly susceptible to blooms through classification and geospatial statistical techniques. A number of climate factors (including air temperature, wind speed and direction, and precipitation) and lake characteristics, such as lake levels and nutrients are evaluated to determine whether these factors may have contributed to the large algal bloom of July 2016, as well as past blooms. This application of remote sensing provides valuable opportunities for enhanced visualization and knowledge of the magnitude and extent of blooms in the region. Additionally, an improved understanding of the conditions/factors which cause algal blooms and the locations which are likely to be affected in the future may benefit water quality monitoring and management agencies in the area.

avatar for Carly Hansen

Carly Hansen

Research Assistant, University of Utah
PhD Candidate and Graduate Research Assistant in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at the University of Utah.

Wednesday November 16, 2016 2:00pm - 2:25pm MST
Room 104/105 1355 W 3100 S, West Valley City UT 84119